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  • SLAC/Stanford researchers have switched a material in and out of a topological state with novel electronic properties. The scientists controlled the switch with an invisible form of light, called terahertz radiation, which made layers of the material swing back and forth.
    Edbert Sie/Stanford University; Ella Maru Studio
    SLAC/Stanford researchers have switched a material in and out of a topological state with novel electronic properties. The scientists controlled the switch with an invisible form of light, called terahertz radiation, which made layers of the material swing back and forth.
  • Pulses of terahertz radiation shift neighboring atomic layers in the topological material tungsten ditelluride in opposite directions, distorting the material’s atomic structure. Following a pulse, the structure oscillates, with layers swinging back and forth around their original positions. Swinging in one direction, the material loses its topological properties. Swinging in the other direction, they become more stable. For clarity, motions have been exaggerated in this animation.
    Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Pulses of terahertz radiation shift neighboring atomic layers in the topological material tungsten ditelluride in opposite directions, distorting the material’s atomic structure. Following a pulse, the structure oscillates, with layers swinging back and forth around their original positions. Swinging in one direction, the material loses its topological properties. Swinging in the other direction, they become more stable. For clarity, motions have been exaggerated in this animation.
  • Schematic of SLAC’s ultrafast “electron camera.” The instrument sends a beam of high-energy electrons (dotted blue line) through a sample, generating an intensity pattern of scattered electrons on a detector (diffraction pattern at right). The pattern and its changes over time reveal the sample’s structure and ultrafast motions in atomic detail. In this particular experiment, a SLAC/Stanford team studied motions in a topological material in response to terahertz radiation (pink arrow).
    Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    Schematic of SLAC’s ultrafast “electron camera.” The instrument sends a beam of high-energy electrons (dotted blue line) through a sample, generating an intensity pattern of scattered electrons on a detector (diffraction pattern at right). The pattern and its changes over time reveal the sample’s structure and ultrafast motions in atomic detail. In this particular experiment, a SLAC/Stanford team studied motions in a topological material in response to terahertz radiation (pink arrow).
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